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LAMU2005: global islands project (island 3.0)


Published 2005


LAMU 2005: (2:18:44) No one ever said, "Hakuna Matata." I prefer this small, nimble 176x144 mp4-film format: from a tiny, rare now, palm-sized SD camera. Other earlier PDF publications and field recordings are a part of this Global Islands Project: Lamu off eastern Kenya, was easily the most hostile photo environment: in your viewfinder, the little speck of man in his boat half a kilometer upstream would suddenly stand-up and begin loudly berating you for not asking permission (or not paying)... and so it went... the audio recordings were more successful/surreptitious... great deliberate influx of mainland Christian musical entreaties in the main town square versus the many established mosques that in all facing Mecca, largely determined the irregular maze/layout of the town, as did the sequestered Islamic courtyards and rooftops -- (I was allowed to visit two mosques only after privileged requests from the imans with great difficulty: occasionally I paid very willing local children to take photos inside and conduct tours) -- most of the added music is from purchased casual-quality cassette bootlegs/mixes from the dusty local music outlet; I added a drumtrack and superfluous sounds; the music was mostly from Mombasa and probably more closely reflects that environment replete with middle-aged European women (sex tourists): you'll spot a couple in the film; but the pace and Kiswahili lingua is correct: there was always something going on, especially in the town square -- the depicted stick-dance is of course a rather depreciated enactment of a traditional Islamic ritual -- the dhows, dugouts and motley assortment of other boats occasionally stayed afloat, only with vigorous bailing: every craft had at least one full-time bailer as the handmade vessels with seams stuffed with resinous-rags, routinely took on water and many were submerged in the harbor during choppy seas: but there was a definitive grace about a dhow underway: no keel, so you see passengers hiked way out on long leeward planks -- petrol was prohibitively expensive and there was only one (police) vehicle on the island: the abused donkeys were the main means of transport for men and very heavy loads of hand-hewn limestone bricks from across the channel -- there was some undetermined major Islamic gathering/meeting (depicted in the film) and fierce protests/parades against the infamous Danish cartoonist while I was there: only a very few white tourists (mzungu): once when out in the bush, I was spotted by a terrified/crying little black girl who would not be consoled by her mother :) [many stories from this visit] apparently, not so long ago muffled screams from prisoners could be heard at night from the old British fort in the town square: the present-day Kenyan police have their own notoriety: prefaced by a shrill whistle, all activity had to stop in the town for the raising and lowering of the flag -- this rule did not apply to the outlying informal clusters of mostly crude structures loosely designated by the residents' origin (Shella, Manda, Kashmiri, Bombay, Kandahari, Mataoni) -- despite all the corruption and dysfunction, life largely went on in the typically exuberant African fashion


Run time 2:18:44
Producer brad brace
Audio/Visual sound, color
Contact Information bbrace@eskimo.com Global Islands Project http://www.bradbrace.net/id.html http://www.bbrace.net/id.html

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